Why best designs can go down the drain
Why best designs can go down the drain
September 20, 2022
It is wise to be aware of the need for efficient drain requirements in kitchens- both domestic and commercial- since a lack of attention here can play spoilsport for the most gorgeous designs in the long run.
The best designer kitchens can go wrong in the long run if the correct and seamless disposal of waste water is not incorporated into the design. Since most of all the systems and elements required are behind the walls- at least a large percentage of it all-the difficulties arise only after a certain time post commissioning of the space. Drainage components provided in any kitchen should be of the highest standards not only in terms of quality design in the external and visible area as well but also for hygiene and food safety.
Despite increasing concerns about food safety and the significant hygiene hazards that poorly designed drains represent, they still tend to be overlooked as sources of contamination, especially in commercial kitchens. Many surveys in the West have found extreme habitation of bacteria and other dangerous microbes in kitchen drain in domestic kitchens. This is not a new or region-specific problem, and it applies equally to the larger operations in the food service industry. These reports might be from countries that have high institutionalised standards of hygiene and food safety. It is quite evident that India has a long way to go in terms of kitchen drainage.
A high level of safety is reached by working with anti-slip surfaces and including products suitable for the operation of the kitchen. Photo Courtesy: Aco Systems and Solutions Pvt Ltd
One of the most important requirements for the correct operation of commercial kitchens is, undoubtedly, hygiene – this holds for the investor, operator, as well as end user. Designing a properly operating system for drainage is a relatively difficult and demanding task. Most standards deal with the processing of raw materials. Improper manipulation could lead to the contamination of food.
Significantly lesser attention is given to the fact that contamination may also be caused due to improper or completely missing kitchen technology. Such ‘backdoors’ for the contamination of kitchens are mainly in their drainage systems. Problematic areas include those that are difficult to clean and where wastewater may settle. These are then infested by colonies of hazardous microbial organisms.
In terms of drainage, bacteria may spread from uneven surfaces, bends, twists, cracks, cavities, corners and corroded areas. When installing drainage elements, it is thus logically necessary to take into account the quality of the material, suitable design of all the elements, the production technology and a suitable welding method.
One instance of a problematic element constitutes sharp corners in the installation of kitchen drainage. These are hard to clean and frequently contain excess amounts of filth. An ideal technological solution includes the use of rounded corners. This, at a first glance, is a simple technical adjustment and allows the efficient maintenance of hygiene and thus the elimination of hazardous microorganisms. Welds are another problematic area. Uneven, lapped welds do not comply with more in-depth hygienic requirements. However, even blunt welds are an altogether different matter. It is important to ensure that all individual elements have rounded inside corners.
Hygienic norms and slip prevention are also required to be taken into account during the creation of products. Photo Courtesy: Aco Systems and Solutions Pvt Ltd
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Steps such as robotic welding and advanced deep-drawing techniques can help eliminate the need for metal-to-metal contact in gullies. This will eliminate the possibility of bacteria, which are usually 2-5 microns in size, living in the crevices with the drain supplying ample food and water for them to thrive on.
The standard material that is used to produce such drains is stainless steel, which guarantees high resistance against corrosion, is non-porous, easy to clean and disinfect, aesthetically pleasing and resistant to extreme temperatures and temperature shocks. The material is also 100 per cent recyclable.
The cutting, shaping and welding process for stainless steel may lead to the introduction of unwanted filth on the surface, which may lead to corrosion and other undesirable effects on the material quality. It is therefore essential to utilise the correct surface finish for the final product – acid pickling and passivation. Both processes ensure that the products have a long service life and pleasant aesthetics.
When choosing a drainage system, it is necessary to make sure that all its parts will work correctly. All of these need to be designed with long service life and simple maintenance in mind and need to comply with hygienic as well as safety standards.
The best designer kitchens can go wrong in the long run if the correct and seamless disposal of waste water is not incorporated into the design. Photo Courtesy: Aco Systems and Solutions Pvt Ltd